Now, Twitter goes the Snapchat way, introduces QR code to follow users


21 Jun 2013
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Twitter is trying really hard to get your attention, and that of its investors. If 140-characters weren’t enough, Twitter lets you add photos and videos. When that failed to help the company get the desired profits, it has now decided to move back to basics with QR codes. In order to make following users easy, which anyway is, Twitter has now introduced the scannable codes for its iOS and Android apps. The new, or rather old, QR codes on Twitter work the same way as on Snapchat and allows one to follow other users without having to click or tap on the ‘Follow’ button on their profile page.

Announced first by Twitter designer, Brittany Forks, the QR codes lets you follow Twitter users by scanning their codes. Now, this is not as simple as it sounds. If you are using the app or the web version of Twitter and want to follow someone, you would (if you know the Twitter handle) type out the person’s name, go to their profile and simply click on ‘Follow’; period. With the new QR code-based option, the simple task is now Herculean. You can find your QR code by clicking on the gear icon on your profile and then choose to either save it or share it for others to scan you. Now it is here that it gets tricker In order to follow someone with a QR code, you need to first have their code and scan it with the QR scanner which shows up when you tap on your QR code. Now that code is not available on their profiles. You can only get access to their code if they have shared it with you or publically. On the Android app, the QR code appears both in the menu by clicking the ellipsis and in the slide-out menu on the left. On iOS, the QR scanner only appears in the profile.

hella pumped to announce the launch of QR codes on twitter! they work like snap codes!!
find yours: profile > gear > QR code

The QR code on Snapchat, called Snapcodes or Snaptags is available on a user’s profile and can be opened by pressing the yellow ghost icon atop the camera. Other users can scan the code by focusing their Snapchat’s camera app on it to follow them. Although Snapchat has claimed that millions of Snapcodes are scanned every week, it is hard to imagine the same success rate for a platform like Twitter, which has a desktop version that is extremely simple.

While QR codes were once a rage and could be found on posters to magazines, the enthusiasm seems to have arguably faded over the years. It is hard to imagine having to either personally receive a QR code by a person you want to follow on the site or scan their codes through a secondary device like a smartphone or laptop. The one-click formula for following a person on Twitter’s open platform appears to be unnecessarily complicated with the QR codes. The feature has not been rolled out to all users, but will be extended soon.

Twitter, even after its decade-old existence, has failed to generate any substantial profit. However, during its earnings call, the company reported positive Q3 earnings. Twitter’s revenue rose to $616 million, beating Wall Street expectations of $606 million. The company’s user base also witnessed growth. Twitter now has over 317 million monthly active users, exceeding market expectations of 315 million. Despite showcasing the much-needed positive earnings, profiting seems like a distant dream. Recently, the company announced that it was shutting down Vine – the microvideo platform it acquired four years ago – as part of its restructuring plans.
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